ICT innovation can support fight against insurgency, says NCC

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has said that Nigeria must leverage and appropriately deploy telecoms and ICT resources in the fight against insurgency and to contain other emergencies.

Prof. Danbatta stated this at the Conference Room of NCC Head Office at the induction of the Commission into the membership of Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA). Bassey Uket, a Principal Manager at the Commission’s Special Duties Department is NCC’s representative at the Forum.

He recalled the collaboration between NCC and the security and other emergency response agencies especially at the ECCs and suggest that many of the multi-faceted challenges can be addressed with scaling up the degree of deployment of electronic strategies.

Danbatta gave an example of the 112 Emergency Communication Numbers, which are routed to the ECCs, as “practical implementation of a security system that is bringing succour to citizens in distress”.

Danbatta described the ECCs as a well-conceived project. It is a project that has enhanced the capacity of agencies in the security governance sector to manage crises. He informed the audience that the Centres are well-equipped to address the purpose for which they were established.

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He said 18 of the Centres, which are located in state capitals, have been completed and he assured that with support of the Federal Government “we are not going to stop. We would like to express our commitment to continue with the remaining 18. We would not rest on our oars until all other 18 are fully functional because the ECC have started attracting attention” and are quite central to the management of security in the country.

Earlier, Oluwatoyin Asaju, Director, Special Duties at NCC said FOSSRA, which was established 6 years ago by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), has performed well in coordinating public information activities of security and emergency response agencies and has helped to improve inter-agency collaboration.

He said the induction of NCC into the forum is a testimony to the Commission’s strides in this regard and also the visionary leadership of Prof. Danbatta. He recalled the nature of operation and kind of facilities at the ECCs and urged Nigerians to use the Toll-Free 3-Digit Emergency Communication Numbers 112 to get help in times of security challenges.

Brigadier Onyema Nwachukwu, Director, Defence Information and Chairman of FOSSRA told the participants at the meeting that crisis is not peculiar to Nigeria and the present escalating trend speaks to emergent global culture where non-state actors resort to violence to express grievances.

He said agencies in the security sector are working all-round-the-clock to improve the nation’s security situation. The FOSSRA’s role according to him is to bring the public to speed on the activities of the security forces. He affirmed that other issues needed to be addressed for the physical security provided by the armed forces to have better impact.

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